Thursday, January 28, 2016

Imperial reprise

Today, January 28, is the anniversary of the death of Charlemagne in 814. In commemoration, I note again, for those who have not heard this before, that I am supposed to be one of his gazillion descendants.  

Charlemagne had twenty children over the course of his life with eight of his ten known wives or concubines. Nonetheless, he only had four legitimate grandsons, the four sons of his third son, Louis. In addition, he had a grandson (Bernard of Italy, only son of his third son, Pippin of Italy), who was born illegitimate but included in the line of inheritance. So, despite twenty children, the claimants to his inheritance were few.  

He is also apparently/allegedly my great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great- great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfather. (That's supposed to be 38 greats.) And that comes through the illegitimate-but-included Bernard of Italy line. 

All of which is essentially meaningless. I have read that if you trace your genealogy back five hundred years or so (and in this case, twelve hundred), you are in some way related to just about every person who was alive at that time. Not descended from them all, of course, but still related.

Thirty-five greats between Michael and Charles the Great. Not exactly six degrees of separation.

Any imperial blood is pretty diluted by now. 

That does not change the fact of my being styled -- as they say -- Lord Michael Dodd of  Ladonia, a micronation consisting of territory once (still, according to the Swedes) part of Sweden.

Don't ask. 


Mitchell is Moving said...

I love this kind of history. You and San Geraldo are apparently distantly related. I have absolutely no doubt that I have no ancestral connection to Charlemagne, not even to one of his lesser relatives.

anne marie in philly said...

get along, kid charlemagne!

Anonymous said...

Oh wow. We could be long lost gazillionth cousins. I allegedly descend from William the Conqueror.

Michael Dodd said...

My 29th great-grandfather, Gilbert DeVenables, came over with the Conqueror. Gilbert was born in 1010 in Normandy and died in Cheshire in 1072. There are so many Gilberts in the DeVenables (later Venables) family that I find it hard to distinguish them all. They were "hereditary huntsmen" of the Duke of Normandy and became Barons of Kinderton. He was born to Odo II, Count of Blois ... well, who knows. It's all a merry mess!

At any rate, for more about Gilbert, check out this link:

Ur-spo said...

Hello Cousin!
(by nearly two dozen generations).